The articles related to the brownfield in Los Angeles Industrial areas, Jordan Downs and Vernon, infuriate me.
Notably, the lack of governance and regulation by the city for more than a few decades is appalling. Even though the authorized government knew about illegal chemical emission into the land, water, and air by Exide Technologies, they fail to regulate and exercise their mandated power. Not enough or the lack of law enforcement toward the profitable private companies including Exxon Mobile is an embarrassing and incendiary action as a public institution. If the only official empowered sector cannot achieve to prevent securing environments for the citizens’ health and safety, their right and authority are hollow, and trust from Los Angeles citizens will be evaporated.
The fundamental function of the government is creating a safety net for not only the current generations but also the future descendants and legalize and administer the law. Consequently, the city’s inconsideration discretion to stand by the lethal environmental violations cause the more significant financial deficit to clean up the pollutions. Frequent failures, such as low penalty accusations for environmental pollution to Exide Technologies and the absent supervision of geological reports in Jordan Downs, are evident instances of the government’s total disappointment.
Incapability to control or demonstrating favoritism of high revenue private companies are legitimate pieces of evidence that the role of government has been falling, their reputation has been decreased, and distrust among citizens has been accumulated. Arising the government watchdog group and collaborative governance such as public-private-partnership (3P) and bottom-up leadership are not optional but necessary to fulfill the cavity that the public agency proves their failure to complete their mission.
Sufficient examinations will never be justified until a solid judgment with complete environmental safety factors, since the polluted area is for children to play and a place for many working residents. Because toxic substances under the ground will directly impact on water and the air which are fatal in case people are exposed and consumed contaminations, the public assumption cannot be lightly made and conducted.
A role of the public agency is not only facilitating and warning the hazardous activities but policing and making corrections on unjust activities to protect public safety and healthy environment. Incapability of utilizing bureaucratic control over the certain corporations indicates dire environmental threats for vulnerable communities like Vernon and Jordan Downs. Convenient and easy resolutions will hold the issues temporarily, but severe environmental and health-related concerns and doubts are persistent until ultimate solutions and safety implementations to strengthen. Under the fact that each policy and a decision-making process will bring unintended consequences, the Department of Toxic Substance Control should beware of individual’s health matters. Their indolent mindset of “out of sight and out of mind” must be adjusted. Not knowing and hearing about contaminations do not mean the community habitats are safe.
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